With the economy sitting at a standstill and revenue streams drying up, companies are looking for ways to reduce costs. Moreover, some are cutting salaries and benefits to help make ends meet.
As we are facing this pandemic without knowing its end, at the same time people are trying hard to make ends meets and that means working for extra hours with less salary.
Coronavirus and lockdown have taken a toll on businesses, with as many as 27 out of the top 100 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) unlikely to sustain current wage bill.
Companies such as Reliance Industries, Air India, Zomato, OYO Rooms, Indian Express, Apollo Tyres, IndiGo, GoAir and so on, have implemented a salary cut.
Media houses such as Indian Express cut salaries from 10% to 30%, The Quint made employees go on leave without pay, and NDTV Group implemented a salary cut of 10-40% based on income slabs. Other media houses that are in the line for cutting the salary of their employees are Hindustan Times, Times of India, Economic Times, JaiHind TV, Times Now and more.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the business community and higher-income groups to not cut salaries or resort to layoffs during this testing time. But PM’s appeal was ignored by big media and corporate houses.
More than 15% of employees are facing a salary cut up to 25%. According to Economic Times data analysis, 17.9% of the respondents who are likely to lose their jobs have a work experience of 10-14 years. 19.6% of the respondents who got a 16-25% salary cut have a work experience of 10-14 years.
Deepak Verma* who works as a delivery boy for Swiggy, said, “For every delivery we delivery boys do, we make anywhere from Rs.70-90. Before the salary reductions, I received a message simply stating that from the next week onwards, we will be getting flat Rs. 36/- only on all deliveries, we make. It is a big difference for us. Many of us are wrecked since we have rent and bills to pay, EMI etc.
Nearly four in five people who have had a pay cut in their household say it has affected their mental wellbeing. 6 out of 10 full and part-time employees surveyed at the end of April said that a member of their household, which could be themselves or someone else, had endured a salary reduction. Of those who have seen a fall in their household income, 40% have had increased anxiety and 39% had experienced increased stress, according to a research consultancy firm Barnett Waddingham.
Sana Shaikh*, an employee working at a consultant agency FarmToFork Solutions, a Mumbai based IT Company said “After paying the salary of March Month, my colleague and I were called in and were described verbally that they have to let us go since the company isn’t making the same profit as before,” told MaverickTimes.
Sana conveyed to MaverickTimes that she was distress with this news.
She said, “How will I be able to find a new job in this pandemic? I did not know what to do. After a week or so I got in contact with my boss and pleaded to give me my job back so that I won’t have a complete financial crisis.” Further adding, “I was able to convince him and got me my job back but he said that he couldn’t pay the full salary and will have a pay cut of 50%. At first, I was a little hesitant but I accepted the offer.”
She said that since her colleague was laid off she has been working overtime. “Working from home is very tiring having to sit in one place for continuous hours. I am working overtime because my partner, my colleague isn’t there to share the work anymore. I am doing the work of two employees at once with 50% pay.”
Another one of many, Geeta Singh* who works at Wipro when asked how she is coping with the work from home situation said, “Working from home surely has its advantages but I feel more comfortable with working at the office cause then you get to meet your colleague and have a laugh. You also get to feel the physical connection which is in very much under the water right now.”
Similarly, Geeta Singh* said, “It is tiring sitting in one place for 8 hours and sometimes 10. We are supposed to work overtime because if we don’t then our work won’t end.”
It is important to find ways to connect socially, ease stress, prioritize sleep, ease your body, and try and fuel your body with as much healthy food you can (which is very difficult to do in times like these), try and get up from your desk and loose up your muscles, intentionally create ‘shutdown’ time in your schedule and last but not the least accept the turbulence meaning accept that things have changed and you have to mould yourself in it; allowing yourself to acknowledge it.
* We are willing to maintain the safety and security of the employee by not disclosing the name